SIKESTON - Chances are those who have attended the hospital's benefit balls in the past may be in for some surprises this year.
The biggest change is in the location. Beginning in 1983 and being held every two years since then, the first 10 benefit balls were held at the Sikeston Armory. "It's going to be at the Clinton Community Building this year," said Ginger Cox, co-chair for this year's ball.
"We've tried to contact as many people as we could personally," said Co-chair Julie O'Brien. "Everyone is invited."
The traditional format of a silent auction and sit-down dinner have been successful and memorable nights, but the 2003 Missouri Delta Medical Center Benefit Ball Oct. 4 will be a bit more dynamic: The Monte Carlo theme will mean more of a "walk around" event this year with no assigned tables.
There will still be plenty of food, however, and the important things haven't changed a bit. "It's going to be a night of fun," said Cox. "And it's for a good cause," added O'Brien.
Dress will be formal, black tie optional. A large tent will be set up outside for Entice, a high-energy dance band from Nashville, Tenn., who will entertain with favorites from the '60s through the '90s. Dancing is scheduled until midnight.
Cocktails are slated for 6 p.m. with gaming beginning at 6:30 p.m. with complimentary chips. "There will be more chips available for a donation," said O'Brien. The chips will then be used to increase chances in prize drawings when the gaming is finished.
Among the prizes are a red electric scooter, a St. Louis hotel package and jewelry. "We just want everyone to have a good time," Cox said. "It is a community event, a community effort. We all need the hospital and we do want it to be state-of-the-art."
The cost for patron tickets is $200 per couple or $100 per person, and regular tickets are $145 per couple and $72.50 per person.
Cox explained the patron ticket includes an invitation to the patron's "Moonlight Over Monaco" party Saturday. "You get two parties in one."
The patron's party will be a catered event at the Gleason's residence and will feature music provided by Andy Piepenbrok. Resort wear is suggested for the tropically-themed poolside party.
"The money raised in the past has made the hospital a first-class facility," said O'Brien.
This year's benefit ball money will go to the Sikeston Jaycee Regional Dialysis Center. For those who wish to offer more support to the hospital, six underwriting packages were compiled so donors can choose level they are comfortable with. The lowest bracket, "Jack," ranges from $25 to $99, and the highest, the "Royal Flush," is a donation of $18,000 which covers the cost of a new dialysis machine, according to Cox.
"Our goal this year is to enhance the Kidney Dialysis Unit by purchasing 2008K hemodialysis machines," said O'Brien. "They offer less downtime and are more user-friendly for nurses and patients."
"They will provide state-of-the-art lifesaving treatment for Sikeston and the surrounding area like as Mississippi and New Madrid counties," said Cox.
For more information call the MDMC Foundation office at 472-7525.